In the Oltremare Delta you will find the Coccinella House: a large village entirely dedicated to ladybugs, a stone's throw from the Oltremare lake. A city for red insects with black polka dots, complete with wooden houses, built in the midst of aromatic plants, trees and flowers.
Ladybugs are precious allies of the staff of Oltremare to tell how, in the midst of gardens and vegetable gardens, you can also not use pesticides. These insects are indeed excellent natural herbicides. Oltremare supports organic agriculture and is committed, through the awareness of children, to organize events to promote concrete alternatives to the use of pesticides in nature.
Ladybugs are ... lions!
As adults and young, ladybugs feed on aphids and mealybugs, phytophages and mites. They are so voracious that the famous entomologist Giorgio Celli even called them 'garden lions '. Giorgio Celli himself was one of the first promoters of the use of these insects as a biological alternative to the use of pesticides in agriculture.
In fact, it has been calculated that an adult of the most common species, Coccinella septempunctata (because it has seven dots on its back), can even get 100 aphids per day, at the larval stage 150! For this reason they are among the most important predators used in biological control: the first large-scale experiment in this sense, you think, was carried out in California in 1888, and successfully, to eradicate the terrible citrus mealybug ( Icerya purchasingsi ), saving Californian citrus growing.